Maintaining Image Consistency with ACES: DIT Leandro Bordakevich on the Argentinian Series “The Boss”

10 min read
Pomfort Production Insight Blog Article, "The Boss" with DIT Leandro Bordakevich header graphic

In the Star+ sitcom The Boss, a creepy landlord abuses his surveillance responsibilities to mess with the lives of his tenants.

We got the chance to speak with DIT Leandro Bordakevich, who shared with us some exclusive production insights, including how using an ACES color pipeline integrated with Pomfort’s Silverstack and Livegrade Pro applications helped him to manage a smooth production workflow.

“The Boss”

Growing up surrounded by an accountant, an IT professional, and a quantum physicist, DIT Leandro Bordakevich felt very comfortable ending up in a profession surrounded by technology.

“I think it [feels] somewhat natural to navigate the technical aspects of images. There’s a component of complex problem-solving, with just so many things influencing the final image. Whether it may be optics, light physics, sensor behaviors, ACES and whatnot, I’m enjoying it!”

Digital Imaging Technician Leandro Bordakevich at his DIT station on set of "The Boss"
DIT Leandro Bordakevich on set of “The Boss”

On set, Leandro likes to go from working on larger projects like Disney+ or Star+ originals, then wind down with commercials and music videos.

“I try to keep it varied. In a way, it helps me to keep my mind fresh and away from boredom. Also, I think the set life, specifically the DIT life, could be very taxing on mental health. So I like spacing out jobs, having days for proper rest, working on my body, on my diet, etc.”

Digital Imaging Technician Leandro Bordakevich working at the DIT station on set of "The Boss"
DIT Leandro Bordakevich using Livegrade Pro

But regardless of whether it’s the busy or slow season for Leandro, he works hard to maintain a balanced lifestyle on and off set.

“I think it’s crucial that we take some time off to work on our health and hopefully get back on set with a better attitude.”

For larger productions and more challenging jobs, Leandro maintains a steady pace by working with the ACES color pipeline, integrated with Pomfort’s Silverstack and Livegrade Pro applications to support his DIT workflow.

Most recently, Leandro worked as the DIT for the second season of the Argentinian sitcom El Encargado, translated to The Boss in English, centering around a creepy landlord who abuses his power of surveillance to mess with his tenants. His involvement began when Leandro received a call from the DP, Manuel Rebella.

Director of Production Manuel Rebella operating an Arri camera on the set of Argentinian series "The Boss"
DP Manuel Rebella

“He blindy asked if I could be on a large gig with him, and I blindly hopped in!”

His main responsibilities were “offloading footage, live-grading the shots, curating the desired look on set, and ensuring that everyone on the team had well-calibrated monitoring, regardless of where [they were] shooting.”

They shot the entire show on two Sony Venice 2, paired with Master Primes.

“We were always shooting with diffusion glasses, specifically Radiant Soft. Sony Venice 2 is a quite gentle camera. Paired with Radiants, the image was soft, slightly bloomy, yet detailed.

On the flip side, X-OCN ST was the compression chosen, and we were going back and forth between 8k and 6k modes based on lens coverage. Some lenses covered well full-frame and some didn’t. And lastly, we switched between both natives all through the show, depending on available light. Venice 2 got much better with the noise performance on the second native, and I find it helpful that you can quickly tap on the fan speed, and see the sensor’s temperature- it really helps the DIT labor.”

Digital Imaging Technician Leandro Bordakevich's DIT cart with Pomfort's Livegrade application open on three separate monitors
Leandro’s DIT Setup

Silverstack and Livegrade Pro

For Leandro and Manuel, “using Silverstack and Livegrade Pro [was] a no-brainer.” In the projects that Leandro and Manuel had worked on together previously, they felt that there were some loose ends when it came to color.

“With so much software being used, so many engines, and every software having its own technical twist, it’s easy for a color decision to get lost in translation.”

Pomfort products became the call almost immediately.

So for The Boss, “Manuel was firm on working entirely with ACES as the project framework,” for the sake of simplicity, “but also to nail consistency in the image and the product as a whole. So Pomfort products became the call almost immediately.”

Leandro used Silverstack to “handle everything data-related,” from offloading footage to managing copies. He also used Livegrade Pro to spread the desired look for each shot and instantly apply it to every monitor on set.

ACES made it really easy to spread the look both in SDR and HDR signals.

“It’s amazing to have control over multiple outputs and be able to set different ODTs for each output on the fly. Being able to work inside of ACES made it really easy to spread the look both in SDR and HDR signals.”

Livegrade Pro allowed Leandro to keep everything centralized, saving him lots of time on set.

Digital Imaging Technician Leandro Bordakevich working on the set of "The Boss" with Pomfort's Livegrade and Silverstack desktop applications
Leandro working in Pomfort’s Livegrade and Silverstack applications

“The fact that Pomfort has so many hardware integrations, with virtually every product in the market, makes the job easier. When handling such complex workflows, you easily end up with many devices stacked up in the signal chain. With Livegrade Pro, I could easily take control of every device in an instant and access their color management and desired look. Whether it be the BoxIOs, the Blackmagic 16×16 Switcher, Teradecks, or some other devices, I could remotely control them with LiveGrade Pro from the cart.”

Aside from this production in particular, Leandro recognizes the usefulness of Pomfort’s products as the industry standard.

Pomfort products meet very high standards and become almost mandatory.

“When it comes to production requirements, Pomfort products meet very high standards and become almost mandatory.” For example, Silverstack makes it so easy to meet the necessary ‘3:2:1 security standard’ as well as offloading with checksums.

And now that it’s typical to have to frequently monitor HDR and SDR signals on set, Livegrade Pro “seamlessly handles that routing and those color management decisions,” which for Leandro is a “top priority.”

In general, the ACES and hardware integrations are Leandro’s favorite Pomfort Application features. But in addition, he wanted to shed some light on some smaller features of the products that have a rather large impact on the DIT job.

First, Leandro mentioned how easy it was to “wirelessly update the 3D LUT of a SmallHD with just one click. And if wireless communication wasn’t possible, building the 3D LUT that contained the IDT, the CDL, and the ODT was done with ease, so grabbing an SD card to update the AC’s monitor wasn’t troublesome at all.”

The other feature that he really liked was the “possibility to directly airdrop stills from LiveGrade Pro.”

“I like sharing stills through Airdrop straight to my iPad and stepping on set. I show the DP the shots with my iPad, talk about possible changes, or just see how the final image is looking. In a way, I think the DIT work could get sedentary quite easily. I find that doing this, I take some time off to be present on set, update everyone, check on my team, have some small talk, then off to the DIT cave again.”

DP Manuel Rebella and DIT Leandro Bordakevich reviewing a shot on the set of "The Boss"
DP Manuel and DIT Leandro reviewing a shot on set

Using Pomfort Applications in Collaboration with Others

Not only did working with an ACES color pipeline integrated with Pomfort’s products make Leandro’s job easier, but it also helped him support other crew members immensely. With more industry experience than Leandro, DP Manuel Rebella “certainly knows how important it has become to handle the signal properly,” so it was his decision to use Livegrade Pro and Silverstack.

Director of Production Manuel Rebella operating an ARRI camera on the set of "The Boss"
DP Manuel operating a Sony camera on set

Manuel and Leandro were in two different places for most of the shoot. Manuel stayed on set operating the camera, and Leandro stayed in what he refers to as his “DIT cave.” They mostly communicated through the intercom or traveled back and forth to each other.

“For each scene, [Manuel] comes to the bay and we grade together in Livegrade Pro. Once the look is locked, he goes back to set and we spread the look to every monitor on set. If I have to share any graded footage with him, I airdrop it to my iPad and walk to the set to show it to him personally.”

Seeing as this is the second project that Leandro and Manuel have done together, they have a sense of what to expect from each other aesthetically.

“I tend to know how Manuel would expose a shot. He tends to work on the dim side. Platform requirements tend to favor a bright exposure for their HDR master, so going for darker looks require close attention. Luckily, Sony Venice has many tools to aid the DITs in this process, so as to walk that fine line with much more grace.”

As far as Leandro’s collaboration with the post-production team, utilizing an entirely ACES color space allowed them to “retain all the color information” in a “non-destructive environment.” They used “the CDL as the only way to share color decisions” to “avoid possible loss of information,” and “maximize compatibility.”

“Using the ACES-CDL workflow made everything so much simpler: it helped bridge the gap between set and post. We adjusted some workflow details in the first weeks but then it was smooth sailing.” Head of Post-Production, Florencia Ferraro, “told us that they had really good results and are willing to implement it once again in future projects.”

Having only primaries as adjustments left us wanting more, though. I look forward to trying out the AMF + CLF route. At the time of pitching this project, AMF was very new to the scene, and implementation on many different software didn’t seem close. I’m hopeful about the standardization of these processes, and I think that exchanging also secondaries will be a landmark for DITs and cinematographers.

Memorable Experiences on Set

Digital Imaging Technician Leandro Bordakevich holding a mate in front of his DIT cart set up on the set of "The Boss"

Looking back on his experience, Leandro recalls how “everyone on the crew was so loving and caring, and it really made the process that much better. Luckily, we even had time to smuggle a few mates and have some great moments together. I know liquids and fluids shouldn’t be around when working with technology, and I’m sorry. But mate is an exception.”

A big ‘thank you’ to Leandro Bordakevich for sharing his production insights into The Boss!

Leandro Bordakevich , DIT

Leandro Bordakevich was born and raised in Buenos Aires, where he now works as a full-time DIT freelancer. Before working as a DIT, he attended film school where he studied color grading.

About the Author
Mae is a Marketing Content Manager for Pomfort’s Silverstack and Shothub applications. When she’s not chasing down exclusive production insights, she’s busy planning a constant stream of editorial content.